The African Leadership Forum (ALF) was conceived of as a space for Africa’s eminent elders to interact with current and future leaders around the strategic challenges facing the continent. The dialogues are to comprehend the leadership issues that are behind the implementation of solutions to Africa’s sustainable development challenges, and that rarely find space for reflection and engagement. The Forum draws upon the experiences and insights of former Heads of State to guide decision-makers through the trials and tribulations of leading change on the continent. ALF has been organised by the Office of the Former President and UONGOZI Institute, and in collaboration with the Thabo Mbeki Foundation for the 2017 edition.
2019 will mark the sixth ALF; to-date, ALF has been held annually since 2014 covering:
- ‘Meeting the challenges of Africa’s transformation’ (2014)
- ‘Moving towards an Integrated Africa: What needs to be done?’ (2015)
- ‘Enabling African Businesses to Transform the Continent’ (2016)
- ‘Peace and Security for an Integrated, United, and Sustainable Africa’ (2017)
- ‘Financing Africa’s Transformation for Sustainable Development’ (2018)
This year’s ALF will be convened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 29th & 30th August, 2019 by H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, under the theme ‘Promoting Good Natural Resource Management for Socio-economic Transformation in Africa’.
Natural resources play significant role in promoting development in the larger part of the African continent. Most countries in the region are endowed with natural resources located either beneath and/or above the ground. For many decades, the continent has put emphasis on utilising and managing resources like minerals and oil & gas which are found beneath the ground. The potential of natural resources found above the ground (land, wildlife, fishery and forestry) in fostering socio-economic transformation has rarely been underscored. This unintended loophole has unconsciously provided room for unsustainable use.
Africa’s land, wildlife, fishery and forestry constitute a significant share of Africa’s natural resource wealth. In addition, the African people understand and interact more with these resources than their counter part beneath the ground. Therefore, such resources stand a better chance in fostering sustained growth through their convergent economic, ecological and cultural imperatives.
Despite their potentials, land, wildlife, fishery and forestry resources are diminishing in the African continent. Land degradation is becoming a serious challenge given the estimates that 28% African land is being degraded annually. Unless African countries revisit and strengthen conservation and management of the natural resources located above the ground, “land, wildlife, fishery and forestry” in particular, both present and future generations will not only face socio-economic challenges but also environmental and climate change consequences. Reflecting the potential for land, wildlife, fishery and forestry in fostering socio-economic transformation in Africa; widespread of their unsustainable use across the continent; as well as the socio-economic, environmental and climate change consequences anticipated, a regional discussion among African countries is inevitable.
The Forum will engage high-level decision-makers and people of influence to deliberate the prospect of promoting good natural resource management for socio-economic transformation in Africa. The main objectives are:
- Exploring the basic principles for managing land, wildlife, fishery and forestry resources to foster socio-economic transformation in Africa;
- Sharing good practice, experiences and lessons learnt in combating illicit practices/trade in wildlife, fishery and forestry resources in Africa; and
- Discussing the African perspective of climate change and its impact on land, wildlife, fishery and forestry
ALF 2019 will be organised over a day and a half with an opening plenary followed by three closed thematic sessions.